10 Essential Tips for Traveling with Dogs This Summer
Traveling with our furry companions can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. Whether you're embarking on a road trip or catching a flight, keeping your dog's safety, comfort, and well-being in mind is crucial. Follow these 10 essential tips to ensure a stress-free journey for both you and your four-legged friend.
- Plan Ahead:
Before hitting the road, research pet-friendly accommodations, transportation options, and local regulations. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, 37% of pet owners found it challenging to find pet-friendly accommodations. Early planning can help avoid last-minute stress and ensure a seamless travel experience. But fear not! According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 80% of luxury hotel chains allow pets as do 79% of economy chains.
- Visit the Veterinarian:
Schedule a visit to your veterinarian to ensure your dog is in good health for travel. Statistics show that 1 in 3 pet owners reported unexpected veterinary expenses while traveling. It’s also wise to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date and to obtain a health certificate if required by your destination.
- Identification and Microchipping:
Before you leave, make sure your dog has an ID tag with updated contact information, including your cellphone number. In addition, consider microchipping your dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that dogs with microchips have a 52% higher return rate compared to those without.
- Safety during Travel:
When traveling by car, use a well-ventilated crate, harness, or seat belt restraint system to secure your dog. We all want fido riding shotgun in the car, but let’s keep our eyes on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 20% of all injury-causing accidents are due to distracted driving, including having unrestrained pets in the vehicle.
If you're traveling by plane, familiarize yourself with the airline's pet travel policies. Most airlines require dogs to be in an airline-approved carrier.
- Be Mindful of Temperature:
We can’t stress this enough. Monitor the temperature inside the vehicle or the travel environment to ensure your dog doesn't overheat. And don’t leave your doggo unattended in the car. Temperatures rise quickly in the summer. It might be 72 degrees outside, but it takes less than 20 minutes for the car’s internal temperature to rise to 116 degrees.
- Pack Essential Items:
Maybe this goes without saying, but bring your dog's essentials, including food (Did someone say Top Shelf Dog food?!), water, medications, toys, and bedding. According to a survey by the American Kennel Club, 47% of pet owners said that not having the right supplies caused them stress while traveling with their dogs. Familiar items will help your dog feel more comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Exercise and Bathroom Breaks:
Regular exercise and bathroom breaks are essential for your dog's well-being during travel. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, long periods of confinement can cause stress and anxiety in dogs. Plan for frequent stops to allow your dog to stretch their legs and drop some pee-mail along the journey!
- Familiarize Your Dog with Travel Gear:
Introduce your dog to travel gear, such as carriers or crates, before the trip. Allow them to explore and associate these items with positive experiences. This process can help reduce anxiety and make them more comfortable during the journey.
- Research Pet-Friendly Activities:
Research pet-friendly attractions and parks at your destination to ensure your dog can enjoy the trip alongside you. According to a study by Airbnb, 53% of pet owners felt more comfortable booking a vacation rental knowing that the host allowed pets. Check out websites for the local towns/cities you’ll be visiting to see where there may be dog parks.
- Be Patient and Flexible:
Lastly, be patient and flexible throughout the journey. Traveling can be stressful for both you and your dog, so maintain a calm and positive attitude. Adapt to unexpected situations and remember that your dog's well-being and comfort is as much a priority as your own.
By following these 10 essential tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey when traveling with your furry friend. Planning ahead, prioritizing safety, and providing comfort and familiarity will go a long way in creating memorable adventures with your dog. Remember, statistics and research help shed light on common challenges and serve as a guide to make informed decisions that lead to stress-free travels for both you and your beloved canine companion. Bon voyage!